Letter to editor

Letter to Editor

Editor: 

Definition: Boondoggle: Verb. Waste money or time on unnecessary or questionable projects. This definition says it all regarding the upcoming jail referendum vote scheduled for Aug. 6.

But here we go again, even after the voters of Jackson County voted against the project with a resounding no vote during the August 2018 vote. But evidently that no vote meant nothing to the powers to be spearheading the new attempt to pass the upcoming proposed referendum. But this time, they even have signs! With that bit of humor interjected, it’s time to get serious regarding this project that will be nothing more than another huge burden to bare on the taxpayers of Jackson County that will continue for many years to come.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office under the guidance of Chief Deputy Steve Schroeder who seems to be spearheading this boondoggle is once again vigorously attempting to once again jam this upcoming jail vote down the throats of the Jackson County taxpayers. The problem is that while doing this, they are only telling you what they want you to hear to make their pet project smell like roses. The fact of the matter is that there are also things they don’t want you to know. With that said, let me enlighten you with a few of those things not being mentioned.

The pamphlet that residents of Jackson County received in the mail shows the proposed floor plan for their pet project is surely something of wonder. Rooms, rooms everywhere. One of my first questions when reviewing the pamphlet is why does the Chief Deputy need his own private office next to the Sheriff’s office? I thought his main job was to be out on patrol protecting the people of Jackson County with the other deputies? If for some reason the Sheriff was not in and the Chief Deputy had to run the office, simply use the Sheriff’s office. All these rooms add up to just more cost to the taxpayer. 

Another fact that they don’t want you to know is that the building they are proposing has lots of hidden monetary costs that you the taxpayers will again have to pay for. Briefly, a new jail as projected will require a minimum of 7 new full time employees, possibly more, plus numerous part time employees which will add at least another $650,000 or more of cost. That figure being an estimate once again on the backs of the taxpayers of Jackson County. Keep in mind that the $650,000 I mention is a conservative estimate to say the least. This does not include the necessary costs of maintenance that will also be required to keep the jail running. Again, more cost on the backs of the taxpayers. They claim 2 people per shift will be able to run the facility, more blowing smoke your way. They also claim that the new jail will actually produce revenue from other counties housing prisoners there and paying. Problem with that theory is that most surrounding counties are making plans themselves to upgrade their own facilities so they would not need Jackson County. More smoke and mirrors by the powers to be.

In winding down, folks, just think of all the taxpayers’ money that has already been wasted from the conception of this proposed project. They are on their second architect for planning, (I’m sure the first one was not cheap), money spent on land that was unnecessary since the county already owned land that would have been ideal, but heck, it’s only taxpayers money so let’s forge ahead. Don’t tell the taxpayers the hidden costs, just tell them our numbers. If we are to believe claims that the cost numbers proposed by both the project construction manager John Hansen and Steve Schroeder will hold, we are believing a falsehood. You know darn well those figures will do nothing but go up.

Once again it’s time for the hard working and folks living on fixed incomes here in Jackson county to unite and cast a resounding no vote regarding the upcoming jail referendum 

Vote scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 6. Enough is enough. 

Can you see a pattern here? According to them, “Just listen to what we are telling you and just trust us!” We know what’s best.

Think about it, can you really trust what’s coming from a Sheriff’s Office that’s currently under investigation by the State of Iowa Ombudsman’s office for alleged improprieties? 

Personally, I don’t think so.

Mike Cyze

Bellevue